An Insight into Pack Behaviour

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This tutorial's a little different from usual as we're looking at dog behaviour, rather than training. "An Insight into Pack Behaviour" was originally a chapter on our Still Off Duty DVD, and is 33 minutes of our thoughts about what we see when we're out and about with our dogs.

We're not suggesting that it's the definitive guide to dog behaviour, but it illustrates much that we've seen and found useful when training a sheepdog. We're hoping you'll find it entertaining, as well as interesting, and we're also hoping it will stimulate some debate about what we see. All of us are learning, and none of us knows all the answers (except, perhaps our dogs).

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Top Tips for Easier Training Puppy Training Essentials The Training Stick

Starting a Strong Dog

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In part one of Starting a Young Puppy, we saw that with care, it's possible to begin a puppy's training at a very early age, but if you didn't have the luxury of well-dogged docile sheep for your puppy to learn with, then you've had to wait before you can start training - and you may find you have a tougher dog than you bargained for when it comes to training it on sheep.

Rather like Tess in this tutorial, there's a good chance your young dog will have its own ideas about how to go about tackling sheep!

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Training Max - the GRIPPER! Balance (What's the Point) Get off the Fence!

Outrun (Part 2)

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The outrun marks the difference between a dog in training and a dog in work. When you no longer need to walk to your sheep, but can send the dog away to gather and bring them to you, you'll have a real sense of achievement - and a really useful sheepdog.

In The Outrun part 2, Andy demonstrates how positioning yourself, your dog and the sheep, in relation to each other, is the key to success when you're working on lengthening or widening your dog's outrun. To prove the method works we see Carew at an early stage in her career - when she'd "cross over" at the prospect of even quite a short outrun - and, just a few months later, tackling a 500 metre outrun for the first time.

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The Outrun 3 Driving (Parts 1 - 2 - 3)

Starting a Young Puppy (Part 2)

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In part one of Starting a Young Puppy, we saw that with care, it's possible to begin a puppy's training at a very early age.

In part two, we take young Ezra to the sheep again, but this time, give him a little more guidance and lots of encouragement.

We also see signs of Ezra's confidence growing and learn that nine sheep is too many for this early stage of a dog's training.

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Starting a Non-Starter Starting a Reluctant Dog Starting a Strong Dog

Starting a Young Puppy (Part 1)

Thumbnail image for the sheep and cattle dog training tutorial: Starting a Young Puppy part one

The usual age for starting a pup on sheep is between six and twelve months, but if you have the right sort of sheep and know what you're doing, you can start a pup at a much younger age. Starting a dog early makes it much easier to get the youngster under control in the presence of sheep.

In "Starting a Young Puppy" Andy shows what to do and what to avoid when he takes litter-mates Ezra and Carew to the sheep at just eleven week old.

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Starting a Young Puppy 2 Starting a Non-Starter Starting a Reluctant Dog

Sticky Dogs

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"That dog's got too much eye!"  You'll sometimes hear this when a sheepdog, invariably a Border collie, appears mesmerised by the sheep, and reluctant to move. But is 'eye' something you're stuck with?

The "Sticky Dogs!" tutorial demonstrates that you don't have to live with this start-stop style.

In this tutorial Andy works with Mab in an assertive, but kind, and encouraging way, with the emphasis always on keeping the dog moving as much as possible.

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The Dog's Confidence How Often, and for How Long? What Shall I Do Next?

Shedding (or Separating) The Sheep

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Shedding is one of those operations that contradicts the basic rules we've taught the dog so far. Previously, we've insisted the dog keeps the sheep together, but to shed them, we must teach the dog to part them again.

Many dogs take readily to shedding, but it's understandable if a young dog's confused or worried by it.

As with most sheepdog training, the key to success is to make the task as easy as possible when we start.

This tutorial shows how to teach a dog to shed sheep by making it as easy as possible for the dog to come through them. Featuring footage from actual training sessions this tutorial has a running commentary throughout.

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The Outrun 1 The Outrun 2 The Outrun 3

Calm but Firm

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A dog which is aggressive with the sheep, but runs away as soon as the trainer attempts to correct it, is among the most difficult dogs to train.

Audrey not only fits this description perfectly, but just for good measure, refuses to go "Away" around the sheep too.

The Calm but Firm tutorial will show you how to cope with these difficult dogs. Featuring footage from actual training sessions.

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Sticky Dogs! (Eye) The Dog's Confidence How Often, and for How Long?